Olaya has worked as an NHS nurse for fifteen years.Now she and her family are moving to Spain due to the “unchallenged abuse” she’s received since the Brexit vote
Gepostet von BBC Radio 5 live am Mittwoch, 17. Januar 2018
The 23rd of June 2016 was a dark day for my husband and me. We tried to joke about the referendum, as neither of us actually believed the outcome would be in favour of Brexit. We discussed what country to flee to in the event that it all went disastrously wrong, and settled on Canada. I ranted about how unfair it was that I didn’t get a vote, as a resident for 13 years and a taxpayer for 7 (after 6 years of higher education).
I was born in Belgium but grew up in Zurich/Switzerland. My parents only ever spoke French to me and my (younger) sister, so we were both really lucky to grow up bilingual French/German. I’d say that I have very much a French culture as I grew up with French nursery rhymes, French music and virtually all my school holidays were spent in my mum’s family in Liege/Belgium.
Next time I read ‘get rid of all EU foreigner scum’ on a Facebook page (not that I go on these very often but they do exist), I remember that my mother is still taking English lessons after my 30 years in the UK, just so she can speak to my husband whose French is sketchy at best.
I am a black French national. I have been in the UK for twenty years, married to a Brit for nearly sixteen. I trained and qualified as a midwife here and practiced until before my last pregnancy. I have lived in the south-east of England for nearly sixteen years.
I came to the UK nearly two years ago and have lived in Bristol ever since. I fell in love with the place and the people almost immediately, and it didn’t take very long before I began to put down roots and started thinking that maybe I could picture a future in this country.
My experience of xenophobia took me completely by surprise.
Growing up in 1970’s as a British born subject with an English mother and Indian father in the South of England, there was a background of racism, with National Front marches in Brighton contributing to a sense of otherness. When I settled in Norwich in the late 1980’s, I was amazed at the lack of racism. I felt at ease in Norwich and made my home in the area, contributing to the community, attending UEA as a mature student and raising my son and daughter.
I arrived in the UK in 2007 along with my fiancé who became my husband in 2009. We decided to settle in Northern Ireland for unknown reasons. We did not consider the terrible weather here, that’s for sure!